A (Royal) College of Teaching could raise the status of teaching as a profession (Updated)

1 Dec

New Chartered College website: www.chartered.college 
New Twitter account:  @CharteredColl
Update: 25 July 2016

Please take part in the College of Teaching Membership Survey on the future of the college.

Update: 25 September 2015

College of Teaching calls for the profession to make history by using crowdfunding to establish its founding support

College of Teaching appoints Founding Trustees

Update: 02 February 2015

College proposal published (The paper (pdf))

Update: 12 Janaury 2015

Article by Ian Toone, Principal Officer (Education), Voice, in Claim Your College Newsletter

Update: 8 January 2015

“Teachers need time for their CPD”:  article by Voice’s General Secretary in SecEd

Update: 6 January 2015

SSAT: College of Teaching Seminar, 17 January 2015, Birmingham

Q&A (pdf)

Update: 19 December 2014

“College of Teaching: rise to the challenge”: TES letters, 19 December 2014

Update: 9 December 2014

Voice welcomes College of Teaching consultation 

Vote in our reopened poll (see right).

The consultation announced by DfE

The DfE’s consultation, ‘ A world-class teaching profession, will be open until 3 February 2015.

Update: 18 October 2014

Teachers’ views sought

Claim Your College

31 July 2013 update:

Voice’s response to Prince’s Teaching Institute’s consultation on College of  Teaching

www.princes-ti.org.uk/CollegeofTeaching

 2 July 2013: update
Result of poll (30 April to 2 July 2013) (reopened 9 December 2014 until 6 February):

Would a Royal College of Teaching raise the status of teaching as a profession?

  • Yes (73%, 55 votes)
  • No (27%, 20 votes)
10 June 2013: Update

Teacher Development Trust’s formal proposal and consultation document for a new member-led College of Teaching: DISCUSSION DOCUMENT (pdf)

30 April 2013: Further Information below updated

Towards a Royal College of Teaching (pdf) (see pages 74-76)

Poll: Would a Royal College of Teaching raise the status of teaching as a profession? (See right.) 

27 February 2013

In its response to Charlotte Leslie MP’s invitation to comment on the call for there to be a Royal College of Teaching, Voice commented:

“In principle, we are very much in favour of the establishment of a Royal College of Teaching.  We believe that morale within the teaching profession is currently at a low point and that this is associated with both a lack of professional esteem within the teaching profession and a decline in government and public confidence and respect for teachers.  Therefore, we would welcome any attempt to raise the status of teaching as a profession and to restore public confidence and respect.

“One of our hopes for the erstwhile General Teaching Council for England was that it would rise to this challenge.  Unfortunately, this did not materialise, partly because the GTCE emphasised its regulatory functions over everything else, and also because it was seen by members of the teaching profession as an external imposition, not driven by the profession itself and lacking a genuine interest in the welfare of teachers.

“An examination of the failure of the GTCE is, therefore, crucial to ensuring that any potential Royal College of Teaching is correctly founded.  At the very least, we believe that such a College should be independent of government and that it should be owned and controlled by teachers themselves.  We also believe that such a College should be open to teachers in all phases of education (from nursery to tertiary) and to both public and private sectors.

“We foresee there being many potential benefits of such an initiative.  It would help to galvanise the profession and raise aspirations, motivation and standards, as well as status.  It would provide a vehicle and impetus for promoting continuing professional development in both subject knowledge and generic teaching skills, as well as the development of apposite dispositional and attitudinal aspects of being a professional teacher.  It could also act as a very useful umbrella organisation in bringing together subject associations, phase associations, education unions and other professional associations allied to teaching, and in engaging in research.

“However, we believe it is important to mention three caveats.  One is that, given the relentless intrusion of government into education over the past 20 years or so – which has undermined and compromised teachers’ professional autonomy – we believe that, in order to build capacity for such an initiative, there would, perhaps ironically, need to be active promotion, support and brokering from Government in order to bring together interested parties and facilitate the necessary actions and dialogue needed to implement an appropriate scheme.

“Another caveat is that we are sceptical about the view, expressed by some, that a Royal College of Teachers would ensure that ‘politics is kept out of the classroom’.  Whilst we recognise that such a College would champion the profession as a whole rather than meddle in the employment issues of individual members or in the collective terms and conditions of particular groups of teachers, it must be acknowledged that much of what happens in the classroom is shaped by political decisions and underpinned by statutory measures.  Therefore, we would expect a Royal College of Teaching to engage fully in the political process by maintaining an ongoing dialogue with Government and lobbying robustly as necessary in matters of policy and legislation (especially in relation to issues involving curriculum, assessment and initial teacher training).

“Thirdly, we assume that a Royal College of Teachers would need to levy fees in order to raise revenue for it to function.  In the current climate, many teachers would not be able to afford the kind of subscription fees charged by some of the well established Royal Colleges, such as the Royal College of Surgeons, whose members’ salaries are far in excess of what any teacher could ever hope to earn.  There would, therefore, need to be an element of ‘pump-priming’ or a significant increase in teachers’ economic position (which has been exacerbated by the current pay freeze); otherwise, the establishment of such a College may fall at the first hurdle by struggling to attract members.

“We are keen to participate in a constructive dialogue over these issues, and we would want to be in a position to promote a viable scheme to our members.”

Further information:

New College of Teaching? (Voice Blog, May 2012)

Charlotte Leslie MP

Charlotte Leslie, The Daily Telegraph, May 2012: “Teachers should be given a Royal College of education”

Charlotte Leslie MP: “Towards a Royal College of Teaching?(pdf), ‘Your Voice’, April/May 2013 [added 26/4/13] 

Charlotte Leslie MP:  In pursuit of a Royal College [added 30/4/13]

Teacher Development Trust:  Towards a Royal College of Teaching (pdf) (General Secretary’s contribution p74-76) [added 30/4/13]

House of Commons Education Committee:

Your views

Do let us know your thoughts…

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15 Responses to “A (Royal) College of Teaching could raise the status of teaching as a profession (Updated)”

  1. 3arn0wl 28. Feb, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    Thanks for this. I, and a growing number of others have been calling for such a professional body for a while [www.3arn0wl.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/gmc-gtc/]: indeed it’s what the GTC ought to’ve been. As you suggest, it needs to be built and owned by the profession (at all levels).

    As I see it though, the GTC should be a replacement for the Secretary of State and DfE (but retaining DfE personnel), answerable of course to Government via the select committee for education.

    And since it’s serving the same function, but in the control of the profession, it should be funded by the Government, not as some club, or union membership. Membership should be bestowed when the teacher gains the QTS.

  2. Richard Fraser 29. Apr, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Charlotte Leslie MP: “What the Royal College of Nursing can learn from the teaching unions”:
    [www.conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2013/04/from-clesliemp.html]

  3. 3arn0wl 01. May, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    Good teachers never stop learning. They review their practice and constantly think about ways to improve what they do.

    And in an age when the county adviser is a distant memory, teachers share good practice with each other in numerous ways: from Twitter to Teachmeet.

    A College of Teachers would be there for the professional development of educators, but that wouldn’t be its only function.

    Teachers are beleaguered by one (often contrary) political initiative after another – all meant with the best intention, I’m sure. But what’s really needed is strong professional leadership, based on sound research into pedagogy that works with our young people. On gaining our postgraduate qualification, we should all automatically and freely become fellows of the College of Teachers (great collective noun), and elect representatives who will promote sound pedagogy: the College informing Government of best practice, not the other way around.

    It’s not the status of the teaching profession that needs raising: Polls repeatedly show that teachers are held in much higher regard than government ministers! http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/2818/Doctors-are-most-trusted-profession-politicians-least-trusted.aspx

    But I am in favour of a College of Teachers, providing it’s set up in the correct way.

  4. Richard Fraser 10. Feb, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

    Prince’s Teaching Institute blueprint for a new College of Teaching now @ http://www.princes-ti.org.uk/CollegeofTeaching/

  5. Richard Fraser 03. Feb, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

    Voice’s policy reponse to DfE: http://www.voicetheunion.org.uk/index.cfm?cid=1475

  6. Richard Fraser 22. Feb, 2016 at 9:00 am #

    CoT survey: https://www.research.net/r/N3L3KMC

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